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Enjoy this video transcript of this week’s Monday Moment episode.

Good morning and happy Monday! I’m Monica Wofford and this is your Monday Moment.

Although, I feel like I’m about to do a weather report and tell you the forecast for the week, but this one IS a bit different from other Monday Moments. This topic is something you want to engage in, something you want to lean into, and something that simply couldn’t be discussed appropriately, while in a seated position. Because today’s Monday Moment is really focused on what are you say to the team to lead them. What do you say in these times? What do you say during the transition? What do you say when you reopen? And this is not so much about scripting or specific phrases or words, but three very specific tenants, bits of advice, and guidance from the likes of Warren Buffet, Winston Churchill, and even with a nod to a few who have given us a tremendous amount of information during this time, Dr Fauci and Andrew Cuomo. So, let’s get right to it. What do you say to them during this time? Or maybe what do you NOT say? The three tenants that follow begin with this first one.

Be Short and Sweet

Winston Churchill has long been known for having talked about the power of simple words. Warren Buffett’s written an entire essay on speaking plain English, and do you? You, too, can just get right to it. Use simple words. Use straight forward words such as what you have heard the entire time we’ve been in quarantine and lockdown. You’ve heard wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Stop the spread. Stay safe. No, they didn’t use an entire paragraph to tell you all the ins and outs of the transformational advantages of making sure to cleanse your hands using a particularly medical or scientific method. Nobody’s listening to that kind of discussion right now. Be short and sweet, get to the point, and get on with it… just like we’ll do right now.

Use Analogies

The second tenant of what or how, or how not, to speak to that team you have the privilege of leading right now, during these times is equally as important, and it is the power of analogy. Use analogies to explain your information so that people can visualize better what you’re describing and so that it becomes clearer from their perspective. Analogies paint a picture that helps employees see your message more clearly. For example, I was talking today with a coaching client about how he was not operating at max capacity and we were talking about emotional intelligence and about suppressing some behaviors that I knew were natural for him. And I said, “You know, it’s like you’ve got a four inch well pipe hooked up to your well pump and you’re asking it to shove all those gallons per minute through a garden hose.” Now, mind you, if you do not have a well pump, nor a farm, or work in this area, that may not be as powerful an image for you. But he worked in maintenance and led a team of people who did this work and completely got it and actually gave me props for using such an analogy! More importantly, he also got the point, got the message, and it was so clear for him instantaneously. Be short and sweet and use analogies to help convey either a visual or a much more clear image when you’re giving direction, when you’re sharing guidance, coaching, and even when sharing simple information.

The Power of Three

Number three tip for what do you say to them, or well, what you cannot say during this time is much like we’ve done today, and in many other Monday Moments. Because it facilitates higher retention and easier processing of information, we have adhered to the rule of three. The third bit of guidance, out of three tips or guidelines, is to adhere to the rule of three. Or, said differently, three’s a charm. Because when you give people three bits of information, they have a tendency to be able to remember all three. In contrast, if you start packing in five or six or seven, they’re not going to remember any of them. Can you imagine going to a restaurant and the server giving you the list of specials with eight different items? It would result in that deer in the headlights look. And when people are stressed and overwhelmed, and in the face of great change, consistently, more information is not better. Less is going to help you make progress with less confusion and help you all reach success.

That is your short and sweet, analogy filled, three’s a charm point filled Monday moment, and I’m Monica Wofford.Have a great day and an even better week. And of course, remember, right now your leadership is needed more than perhaps anytime before. Your kindness, your courage, your perseverance, and your leadership are all still contagious and hey, if you’re not part of the contagious community, let’s fix that. Go to contagious companies.com and look for the pop up in the center of the screen to begin sending the Monday Moment directly to your inbox. Or go to MondayMoment.com and sign up to join me every Monday. Talk soon.

Monica Wofford, CSP is a celebrated leader who develops future leaders. CEO of Contagious Companies, her firm delivers and designs leadership training for managers who’ve been promoted, but not prepared, and the leaders who promoted them. Author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear, Monica and members of the Contagious team may be reached at www.ContagiousCompanies.com, www.MonicaWofford.com or by calling 1-866-382-0121.

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